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Do you set goals but find yourself getting in your own way when it comes to achieving them? You might have self-sabotaging habits. Here’s more.

What are self-sabotaging habits?
Simply put, self-sabotage is destructive behaviour that’s directed to yourself. You may not be aware of it at first, but when you pay close attention, you’ll see that these negative habits undermine the work you put in. Such habits are motivated by the ideas and beliefs you have about yourself. These beliefs are often based on a low opinion of yourself. For example, thinking that you don’t deserve opportunities because of your background, identity or abilities. Self-sabotaging habits can look different for each person. Here are the most common examples.

This is a delay tactic, which we use to avoid uncomfortable emotions like stress and anxiety about performing a task. This habit develops slowly, but it can quickly get out of hand. For example, people will say: “I work better under pressure” or “I still have more time, it’s simple” when in reality they’re putting off studying, assignments or work presentations. The best way to overcome procrastination is to challenge the statements you tell yourself about how well you’re likely to perform tasks. Break things down into bite sizes so that you can gain confidence in your capabilities.

This habit is based on the belief that you’re “not good enough”. When you have a low opinion of yourself, you’re likely to focus on your flaws. When you don’t stop self-criticism in its tracks, your thoughts can lead to actions that confirm your thoughts. For example, staying in toxic relationships (friendships or romantic); not applying for your dream job or position or deliberately not doing your best in your studies. Overcoming self-criticism can be challenging, but a good place to start is by acknowledging that having flaws and negative emotions are normal, and that you also have positive qualities. You can also seek counselling support to get to the root of the problem.

Poor self-care
Not giving yourself time to rest and or putting yourself last can happen if you believe that other people or things are more important than you. When you’re all about work or focusing all your time and energy on pleasing others; you’re likely to burnout. You’re robbing yourself of time to do things that fulfil you. Invest in your self-care by learning to say yes to your needs. Rest, do things you enjoy and practice good time-management skills.

Self-sabotaging can impact important areas of your life, so the sooner you learn to manage it, the better. Challenge the thoughts that lead to self-sabotaging habits, and you’ll be able to get out of your own way!

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